Committing to push cooperation in the nuclear field,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday directed officials to resolve at the earliest outstanding issues on liability that have stalled work on Unit-III and IV of the Kudankulam project.
Singh and Putin,who held wide-ranging talks,observed that defence cooperation is a crucial element in the strategic partnership and decided to enhance cooperation in the fields of rocket,missile,naval technologies and weapon systems.
The two leaders,at their 14th annual Summit meeting,also discussed cooperation in the field of terrorism and looked at ways to enhance trade and investment among other subjects.
Singh later said the discussions were characterised by the warmth,goodwill and trust that permeate all aspects of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.
I conveyed to President Putin our commitment to fully implement the road map on civil nuclear cooperation that was signed during his visit to India in 2010, he said.
Singh described Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu as an important symbol of the strategic partnership and said he looked forward to commercial power production from Unit-I very shortly,and the completion of work on Unit-II next year.
We have directed our officials to resolve all outstanding issues at the earliest, the Prime Minister said.
He did not specify the outstanding issues but was clearly referring to the liability matters. Russia’s concerns over the operator responsibility in the Liability Act of India have stalled work on Unit-III and IV of the Kudankulam project.
The sides also agreed to expeditiously finalise the General Framework Agreement and the Techno-Commercial Offer for Units — 3 & 4 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant.
A joint statement ‘Deepening the Strategic Partnership for Global Peace and Stability’ issued after the talks said the two sides noted with satisfaction the progress in regard to the commissioning of Unit-I of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and agreed to take necessary steps to expedite the completion of Unit-II.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the Agreement on cooperation in the construction of additional nuclear power plant units at Kudankulam site as well as in the construction of Russian-designed nuclear power plants at new sites in India as concluded on December 5,2008.
They also affirmed their commitment to the Agreement on Cooperation in the use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes and the Road Map for the Serial Construction of the Russian designed Nuclear Power Plants in India,concluded on March 12,2010.
President Putin and I agreed that our strategic partnership remains a matter of the highest priority for our two nations,based on our shared belief in the enduring value of this relationship,both for our mutual benefit and as a factor for global peace and stability, Singh said.
The two sides also signed five agreements to enhance their strategic ties.
Under the ‘Transfer of Sentenced Persons’ agreement,Russia and India agreed to facilitate the process of social rehabilitation of sentenced persons of the other country by providing the opportunity to serve their sentences in their country of nationality,under certain conditions.
A pact was also signed on ‘Programme of Cooperation in the Fields of Science,Technology and Innovation’ between India’s Department of Science and Technology and Russian Ministry of Education and Science for the period 2014-17.
An agreement was signed on ‘Programme of Cooperation in the Field of Biotechnology’ that aims to deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of biotechnology through implementation of joint programmes and projects/exchanges etc.
An MoU was also signed between India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Federal State Budget Organisation “Russian Energy Agency” (FSBO-REA) of the Russian Ministry of Energy in the field of energy efficiency.
An MoU was also signed in the field of Standardisation and conformity Assessment between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Federal Agency on Technical Regulation and Metrology (GOST-R).
The objective of this MoU is to facilitate closer technical cooperation in the field of standardisation with the aim of exchanging necessary information and expertise.